Colored etching, 7 3/4" by 4 3/8" inside the mat, 13 1/4" by 9 3/4" framed, pencil signed at lower right margin, with "No. 18" notation, by the famous French artist, JEAN-FRANCOIS RAFFAELLI (1850-1924). This is a sympathetic depiction of a common woman of the lower class, gathering sticks on a chilly day for her cooking fire or hearth. Raffaelli found the common, the poor, the working class, and the underprivileged people of Paris and its industrial suburbs to be his favorite subjects. He studied briefly with Jean Leon Gerome but was essentially self-taught. In 1880 and 1881 Degas actively encouraged him to exhibit with the Impressionists, but he met resistance from the likes of Monet. His style was considered more realistic, not truly impressionist, accounting for much of the resistance. Raffaelli's fame spread across the Atlantic during his lifetime. Later in life, he took to the graphic arts, creating at least 183 different prints. Raffaelli's paintings have auctioned to nearly $3 million, and they commonly sell over $100,000. This example likely dates to the late 1890's or early 1900's. It exhibits typical browning from previous mat placement, and, when viewed very closely, and at an angle, the paper fibers in the top third of the print seem to have been somehow disturbed. This curious effect is not apparent when viewed head-on, and at normal distance. I do not necessarily believe that it came about after the creation of the print. This effect is difficult to photograph. Allow for reflections in the glass in some images.
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